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Business Disaster: What Threatens Small Businesses the Most?

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Business Disaster: What Threatens Small Businesses the Most? There are many threats to the integrity of a small business, and not all of them are as dramatic as a cyberattack or a hurricane. Every small business needs to do a risk assessment to determine all the threats that exist that could bring harm. External threats are the ones that get the the most attention. These can be big snowstorms or hurricanes that bring down power lines and network connections. They can also be man-made. A power outage due to a grid failure, or an act of terror. Also in this category are phishing scams, cyber attacks and data theft from external sources.All of these are the ones that make the evening network news, and every business needs to plan how to handle them. However, there are some internal threats that can be just as serious, but are far less attention getting.For example, human error. Stolen data can occur because someone forgot about changing their passcode, or they left a smartphone containing…

Data Protection and Bring Your Own Device to Work

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Data Protection and Bring Your Own Device to Work BYOD refers to a firm's policy of allowing employees to use their own personal phones, tablets and laptops for all their work applications.This is a pretty common policy, and it has many benefits, but it brings along risks. How are you addressing these risks? Here are some of the issues raised by BYOD A lost device - If you issue company phones, you have the ability to remotely wipe the unit clean if it is lost or stolen. With employee's personal devices, do you still have that ability. If not, your data is at risk.Software updates - Is the employee responsible for updating all the software and virus protection programs on their own devices? If that responsibility transfers to them, you are at the mercy of their willingness to keep track of such tedious tasks. If you accept responsibility for it, do you have the in-house staff to handle all the extra work?Back ups - with data being entered on many different devices, something must…

Everyday Human Error Can Affect Data Protection

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Everyday Human Error Can Affect Data Protection Are you under the impression that data loss is all about putting up firewalls to protect against evil cyberattacks? Some of the biggest sources of data loss include sloppiness, human error, and just plain forgetfulness. What are some of the unglamorous things that we do everyday that leave us vulnerable?
Passwords Old or easy passwords are a good first example. Employees set up simple passwords that are easy to crack. More importantly, employees may share passwords, and many often fail to create new ones on a frequent basis. Both of these represent critical breakdowns of good data protection practices. Emails Another significant problem caused by bad judgment is the tendency of people to open phishing scams. Almost everyone now knows about the Nigerian who wants to send money to your bank account, but many new scams come along every day and people fall for them. This is such a serious source of virus infection that some companies now deliberat…

Disaster Recovery Plans: Do You Have One?

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Disaster Recovery Plans: Do You Have One? Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are issues that almost all small businesses fail to think about. More frequently, they decide they haven't the resources to address such "unthinkables." If your business was down for 1-2 days or more, what costs would you incur? Lost revenues and lost productivity. These are obvious. You won't make the money that you would have if you remained open. This is especially true if you provide a service. Services are inherently tied to time, and time cannot be re-created. Sure, you can work extra hours next week, but it won't be a service provided at the time it was expected. However, even if you provide a product that can be purchased next week instead of today, a customer didn't get it when they most wanted or needed it.

There are other far more serious consequences of business downtime than just unsold goods and services. There are the intangibles that can't be so easil…

Why Small Businesses Shouldn't Avoid Making Disaster Recovery Plans.

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Why Small Businesses Shouldn't Avoid Making Disaster Recovery Plans. Entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially ones that are fairly new, often don't think about making plans to recover in case of a disaster. However, it is the smallest business that most likely has the fewest resources to fall back on in case of disaster. Why does this happen? It isn't on an entrepreneur's radar - The challenge and hurdles of starting out are what drive small business owners. The excitement that comes with getting a new client or releasing a new product are what motivates them. To be honest, things like disaster recovery plans are a little dull and aren't part of the exciting day-to-day hustle of running a company. As a result, these issues get put on the back burner.Planning tools can seem too complex - Ideas like "risk assessment" and "business impact analysis" can be intimidating. Many SMBs may just feel the whole area is overwhelming and leave it to anothe…

Outsourcing? Really. Its OK: How it can save time and money

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Outsourcing? Really. It’s OK: How it can save time and money Almost by definition, small business owners and entrepreneurs cringe at the concept of outsourcing. Those who start their own companies like the control and autonomy it provides them. Unfortunately, that preference for control and autonomy may have some bad side effects when it comes to IT. Small business don't have the resources to fully support all of their IT infrastructure needs. The present in-house staff is most likely very busy putting out day-to-day fires. One statistic suggests 65% of IT budgets go to nothing more than keeping the lights on. In short, staff is busy making sure the printer works or reloading a PC infected by a virus after an employee fell for a phishing email. This means that small firm's expenditures on IT are not improving operational, efficiency, or enhancing productivity or competitiveness. There is an alternative. Managed Service Providers are outside consultants you can bring in to handle …

Run your Business, not an IT Company

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Run your Business, not an IT Company You went into business because you have an interest and expertise in some particular product or service. You began the firm to offer that product or service, but a dirty little problem came along with that new company. IT requirements. You need equipment, and you need networks, and printers, and data storage to keep the company up and running. As a consequence, you've become responsible for managing something you probably don't care very much about or even understand especially well. Managed Service Providers can be a solution. A small business can off load a variety of IT tasks that are becoming a distraction to everyday business operations and strategy.Here are just two examples. Software updates and security audits: Your present in-house staff may be spending most of its time fixing everyday problems. As a result, they may have to delay vital security measures, such as applying tested security patches or updating virus software programs. Wo…